Activities for Kids at Home

The Paper Bag Players - Alligator! Alligator!

Dear parents and teachers:

While families are sequestered at home, we know many of you are looking for ways to engage, entertain and educate your children. Welcome to our new page, Activities for Kids at Home, featuring a sketch from The Paper Bag Players vault paired with questions and/or activities that will help your children think more about what they’ve watched and provide opportunities for them to create and imagine on their own.

Session 23 (May 2021)

ACTIVITY (20 minutes):
Here’s a short play called “A Very Little House” all the way back from 1985, featuring Judy Martin, James Lally, Brenda Cummings and Jan Maxwell, with musical director Donald Ashwander at the keyboard! In this piece, the Players must squeeze into tighter and tighter spaces so they can live together under one roof. Activity: take two pieces of paper and something to draw with. On the first paper, draw a house with everything and everyone crowded in very close, practically on top of one another, whether it’s the shower, a dog or cat, the whole family, all the furniture, a TV and computer, kitchen table: everything! On the second piece of paper, draw all of the same items from your first picture, but this time spread out with lots of space between.

Session 22 (Monday, October 5, 2020)

ACTIVITY (20 minutes):
The word “Versus” means “against,” a fitting name for this week’s video which is all about competition, a tug-of-war between rather unlikely contestants. Your first activity is simple: while watching, choose your favorite in each pair, and root loudly for them – maybe your choice will win! Now it’s your turn: make up your own very silly or unlikely contestants to face off against each other in tug-of-war and draw them on either side of a paper with a rope between them. Bonus: write the winner below your drawing. Have an adult send in a photo of your drawing for inclusion in our online gallery:

Session 21 (Monday, September 14, 2020)

ACTIVITY (6 minutes):
In this short play, performed some years ago, Amy, Kevin and Laura play children with different feelings as they wake up on their first day of the school year: one is excited, another is reluctant, and one is nervous. This year brings some different challenges to the first days of school, but whether you are learning at home or in school, or both, we know that with the help of your teachers, parents, and friends (old ones and new), you will have fun together as you learn! As we ease into the new school year, this week’s Activity is simple: watch the video and enjoy!

Session 20 (Monday, August 31, 2020)

ACTIVITY (10 minutes):
This week, join our scenic artist, Jon Peck, as he guides us in two fun drawings. Just grab a couple pieces of paper and something to draw with (a marker may be best) and follow along with Jon! Send in photos of your finished drawing to for possible inclusion in our online gallery.

Session 19 (Monday, August 24, 2020)

ACTIVITY (15 minutes):
Activities for Kids at Home, Session 19: “Bob the Slob.” Question: Bob the Slob made quite a mess, didn’t he? Name or write down all of the messy things he did. Activity: Now take a piece of blank paper and a drawing utensil (e.g. crayons, markers, colored pencils) and make your own picture that features your messy person or character, and fill the paper with lots of objects they’ve littered, dropped or tossed about. See how wild and messy you can make your drawing be! (But remember: save the mess for your drawing, not for your room!)

Session 18 (Monday, August 10, 2020)

ACTIVITY (20 minutes):
This week, our video shows a pair of friends on a fishing trip getting more than they bargained for. Did you laugh when you saw how scared one (and then the other) gets when, actually, the sea monster baby and parent are just being friendly and playful? Now it’s your turn to act! Use members of your family to take turns playing the friends fishing in the boat and the sea monster baby and parent. The fishers should sit together facing the same way, and the sea monsters should be behind them, creeping up and tapping a shoulder, knocking off a hat, flopping their long arm on the fisher’s shoulder. If you follow the action in our story, notice how it slowly builds in excitement: those in the boat should take a while before noticing anything strange. Once you’ve enjoyed playing your parts as the sea monsters or fishers, switch places and do it all over again! Maybe you can find some of your own ways to continue the story. Acting requires a lot of work and imagination, but it can also be a lot of fun!

Session 17 (Monday, August 3, 2020)

ACTIVITY (15 minutes):
As you will see after watching this week’s video, Rebecca really loves to sing! Take a piece of paper and make a list of your favorite things: it could be going to the beach, eating ice cream, playing with a pet, reading books, playing with friends, making music, dancing… anything! After you make your list (try to come up with at least 5 favorite things), use a fresh piece of paper, write the words, “My Favorite Things” at the top, and draw them on the same page. We’d love to see your drawing! Send a photo of it to .

Session 16 (Monday, July 27, 2020)

ACTIVITY (15 minutes):
Have a look at The Paper Bag Players in “Arrows.” There are many kinds of arrows: ones that point toward and away from each other, dancing arrows, arrows that fly through space, even arrows of a clock! Let’s have some fun drawing pictures that tell stories with nothing but arrows. First, draw some lines to divide your page into four parts. In one corner, draw a family of arrows (two parents and two kids). In another corner, draw two or more arrows that are shooting to the stars like rockets. In the next corner, arrows that chase each other. Now draw a funny face made from arrows. Turn your page over: what sorts of stories or scenes can you draw with nothing but arrows of all shapes, sizes and directions? Send in your arrow art to .

Session 15 (Monday, July 20, 2020)

ACTIVITY (20 minutes):
In “Doors,” Lily enters a series of invisible doors until she arrives at one that appears to be locked. What does she do to solve her problem? Watch the video to find out! Now it’s your turn: With a sheet of blank paper and something to draw with, can you come up with your own conflict and then use your imagination as you draw a solution to the problem? Here’s an idea to get you started: Draw two cliffs on opposite sides of the paper, and a person (it could be you!) standing on one of the cliffs. How will you get across to the other side? (Suggestions: draw e.g. a bridge, helicopter, tightrope, or more fancifully, a pair of wings on the person, a dragon, flying carpet or a cloud you can walk on.)

Session 14 (Monday, July 13, 2020)

ACTIVITY (4 minutes):
“A Couple of Cans” features a joyful song by two garbage cans who eat anything they can. This week, the activity is simple: Watch the video and enjoy!

Session 13 (Monday, July 6, 2020)

ACTIVITY (20 minutes):
What could be more unlikely a friendship than a cactus and a balloon?! But as you’ll see from this story, even the most unlikely pairs can become friends. Some animals (like cats and dogs) are supposed to be natural enemies, but there are so many cases (probably even in your own homes) where they just as often get along great! For this week’s activity, draw your own pairs of unexpected friends. Start with the cactus and balloon, and then move onto your own funny pairs of friends.

Session 12 (Monday, June 22, 2020)

ACTIVITY (20 minutes):
We’ve just officially entered the summer, and what better way to start the season off than with an exciting splash of paint as The Paper Bag Players conjure a summer day? After you watch us paint our summer day on the giant canvas, now it’s your turn: using any colorful materials at home (crayons, colored pencils, markers, watercolors), show us how you might create a lovely summer day. Maybe your picture is a scene at the beach, summer camp, a family trip, or a sunny place in your imagination. Extra credit: draw or paint “Summer Is Here” on your picture. We’d love to see your creations! Parents and teachers: send in a photo of your children’s drawings and we may include them in our online gallery: .

Session 11 (Monday, June 15, 2020)

ACTIVITY (25-30 minutes, including video):
Join our scenic designer, Jon Peck, as he guides you in making your very own car with just a cardboard box, a little paper, some tape and something to draw with. In no time, you’ll be zipping through the house in a fabulous car, complete with license plate, wheels and lights! These are the kinds of cars The Paper Bag Players use in our own shows, and now: you can become a Paper Bag Player, too!

Parents and teachers: send in a photo of yours kids in their cars and we will add it to our online gallery:

Session 10 (Monday, June 8, 2020)

ACTIVITY (7:30 mins, including video):
This session, the activity happens *during* the video. Watch as a very big, very naughty baby escapes his crib and causes all kinds of mayhem for his poor babysitter, Rachel. Feel free to yell and shout along with the audience as Rachel searches for the missing baby! Whatever you do, DON’T copy the baby’s habit of making a giant mess!

Session 9 (Monday, June 1, 2020)

ACTIVITY (10-15 min, including video):
While watching “Lost in the Mall,” a very silly family (two parents and two children) will ask your help in finding each other: make sure to speak up and help them (even if they get a little confused! Have you noticed they always do the wrong thing? If you tell them to go one way, they go the other! Now try the Opposite Game with a family member at home. Take turns: one of you will give directions, but the other will always do the opposite. So if it’s your turn to do the action, and someone tells you, “Reach up high,” you get down low on the ground. Or if they say, “Show your face!” you hide your face. If you were the one doing the opposite thing, after a few turns, switch places: now it’s your turn to call out actions, and their turn to do the exact opposite!

Session 8 (Monday, May 18, 2020)

ACTIVITY (15-30 min. including video):
The video (“What Can You Make?”) gets to the heart of what The Paper Bag Players do: with simple materials such as paper and cardboard, we create whole worlds with our imagination. But do you know who does that better than anyone? Kids! This week, our assignment is very open: find a cardboard box or large piece of paper (it can be a paper shopping bag that you tear to flatten out). Taking inspiration from the video, or from your very own imagination, see what you can make! (Suggestions with your large paper: a bouquet of flowers, telescope, blanket, hat. Suggestions for your box: a boat, old TV, space ship, robot. Use markers, if you wish, to add some details.) Show us your creations:

Session 7 (Monday, May 11, 2020)

ACTIVITY (5 min, including video):
Who doesn’t love a jumbo popcorn? In this exercise, YOU get to be the popcorn! Follow the directions Colonel Kernel gives you, along with his assistants, and before you know it you’ll be hopping and popping into popcorn yourself. Get ready to dance, move, wiggle, kick and pop!

Session 6 (Monday, May 4, 2020)

ACTIVITY (10-15 min, including video):
The Paper Bag Players make their own crazy face, one feature at a time. Now it’s your turn! Here are three ways to make a crazy face of your own:

  • • Draw a picture of a very funny face.
  • • Draw and then carefully cut out the features of a face (two eyes, two ears, a nose and mouth). On another piece of paper, draw the outline of a face with hair. Now place the features in strange and unexpected areas around the face. Keep trying until you find the funniest, silliest arrangement.
  • • Put down the art supplies and make your own crazy face!

Adults: we’d love to see what your kids come up with – send in a photo of the crazy faces (drawn and real life) for possible use in our online gallery!

Session 5 (Monday, April 27, 2020)

ACTIVITY (30-40 min, including 13 min. video):
Get ready to sing! In our story, a little girl saves the day not once, not twice, but three times! When there’s trouble, all you have to do is sing (nice and loud) — Amazing Amy, dressed in blue, Amazing Amy, we need you! — and Amazing Amy springs into action!

Now that you’ve seen Amazing Amy perform her heroic deeds, we want you to draw two pictures. For the first, think of the heroes in your own life, and draw one! Next, draw yourself as a superhero: what are your superpowers? Amazing Amy rides a tricycle: when you’re a superhero, how do you get around? We’d love to see your drawings! Teachers and Parents: share your child’s drawings with us at and we may include them in our gallery!

Session 4 (Monday, April 20, 2020)

ACTIVITY (Total duration = 20 minutes, including viewing the video):
Lily learned how to fly from her new friend, a bird. What do you think you could you learn from:

  • – A snake
  • – A whale
  • – A kangaroo

Act out what these animals would teach you how to do.

Now it’s your turn to think of three other animals and what they might teach you.

First, act out what you’ve learned from each new animal friend. Now, draw each animal on a piece of paper. Write what kind of animals they are and tell us what they could teach you. Take a picture of the drawing and send it to – we’d love to see your beautiful creations!

Session 3 (Monday, April 13, 2020)

ACTIVITY (Total activity/video time = 5 minutes): In recent sessions, we asked kids to draw a picture after watching a scene from our show. This session, the activity happens during the video! Laura has a bad case of ants in her pants, and we need everyone to learn a song and dance that will help her. So gather around, make some space, and get ready to sing loud and dance fast!

Session 2 (Monday, April 6, 2020)

ACTIVITY (Duration 20-30 min): Watch the video and see how The Paper Bag Players use hand-painting on a giant easel to create rain, sunshine and finally a rainbow. Using materials at home, make your own rainbow picture, large or small! If you like, include a special message. Here are some ideas of what to write: Thank you! * Everything will be OK! * Stay Safe! *** Or make up your own message.

Who might you thank? How about Nurses, Doctors, Mail Carriers, Teachers, Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Grocery Store Workers, or simply: Helpers!

Just as kids all around the world are doing now, place your rainbow and message on the window facing out for all your neighbors and community to see. But first, have an adult take a photo of your drawing and send it to so we can share your beautiful painting, too!

Session 1 (Monday, March 30, 2020)

For the launch of this weekly series, we’ve selected a new piece from our current show, HERE WE GO!, entitled Zymilliquixar about a funny little alien named Snerp.

ACTIVITY (total duration = 20 minutes, including viewing the video): Snerp has four ears, three eyes, blue skin, spiky orange hair and antennae.

  • What kind of alien can you draw?
  • How many ears and eyes does it have, what color skin, what kind of hair (if any), and what other features?
  • Draw an alien of your own design and give it a name, too!

Take a photo of the alien and its name, send it to and we may feature it in a gallery for everyone to see!